DxO Leica M 240 test coming within a few days as per DxOMark


DxO Leica M 240 test coming within a few days as per DxOMark

Just received this email from DxO as it seems they became aware of the post a made a couple of days ago regarding the M9 sensor and their results. (I defended the M9 as a capable tool with astounding IQ). In any case they tell me their M 240 tests is coming in the next few days and my guess is that it will test very good simply due to the fact that the way they test is best suited for a sensor like the one in the M240. So for those who follow these things, keep an eye on DxO over the next few days.


“Dear Steve,

Thank you for the interest you have shown in DxOMark and particularly
in the tests we carried out on the Leica M9, M9-P, and M-E. 

As you rightly observe, we promote our tests as giving photographers a
clear idea of the image quality of their cameras compared to equipment
of the same class or equivalent technology. 

We wanted to use these tests to analyze the quality of the CCDs of all
three cameras in order to compare them in the near future with the new
CMOS sensor of the Leica M. 

The results will be available within the next few days. 

Stay tuned!

Sincerely yours,
The DxOMark Team”


  1. Hello,

    Our measurement depends on many aspects of the sensor. One important element you have to keep in mind is that color response can vary slightly between two very close sensors. (Just for reminder, Leica had trouble with the color filter on the M8, so it isn’t unimaginable that some slight variation between the M9 and ME could occur).
    On an other hand, the AD convertor can also vary between two sensors that could be very close on other aspects. Basically we are never 100% sure that two sensors are exactly the same.
    In the specific case of the Leica CCD sensor, we cannot tell you precisely the technical explanation between the 3 measurements, as we are not Leica’s engineers.
    Maybe it is the of one or both of the above explanations, or another possibility as well.

    Please note that this answer will be the last you will get from us.

    Best regards,

    The DxOMark team
    This is their response after 3 weeks – can you believe that – THIS IS THE LAST REPLY YOU WILL GET FROM US? good customer support isn’t it?

  2. sports ya right i bought a leica to shoot downhill skiing if you take sports and low light out where do they score then what a bunch of bozos and i personally never shoot above 400 iso so gor me this means nothing

  3. As someone over at Leica Rumors, I believe, accurately said of the new M240:

    I think that sourcing all components from the euro-zone had more political importance than actually sourcing the best sensor.

    • That and they probably didn’t want to be using exactly the same sensor as cameras costing many thousands less, even if that sensor was better. This way people can still attribute magical, unique properties to the sensor, something no other camera can offer. Anyhow, it’s a good sensor, if not the best, much better than that in the M9, and that made some lovely images.

  4. Results are out today and just where I expected them to be (more or less). Again, apples and oranges when looking at RF vs DSLR. Nice lowlight improvements over ME/M9 and impressive color sensitivity. Still prefer the M-E over the M (personally).

    Interesting that the M9 and M-E are touted as identical, yet have differing sensor scores. The must have touched something between versions.

    • Why apples and oranges rf’s vs slr’s? Sensors are sensors, technically speaking. Don’t flavor the issue.

      • Agreed. Rangefinder vs DSLR has nothing to do with it. It’s a light tight sensor with a lens in front of it either way…that produces pictures.

        How you frame in the viewfinder has no baring on the sensor + lens output, technologically.

      • I know it’s not just about DXO scores. The glass and how a camera operate are equally important. It’s the final image that matters the most.

        It’s a huge improvement over the M9 scores.

        • That’s for sure, and the images published here by S Huff look really good. Not necessarily better than the results my D700 with top class primes produces, but really good.

          I would have liked to see Leica, as they once were, at the forefront of innovation but sadly, they aren’t. In a technical sense, for whatever that’s worth, they’re certainly catching up. If you want to play digital, you gotta play the numbers. I just thought the Blackstone money would have provided for more, but possibly their marketing guys (very shrewd persons) figured out catching up was good enough. And it probably is.

          • Today dxomark tested the Leica M240 at 84points and the RX1 at 93points. All these m240’s are still backordered. By the time real people get a M240 in their hands, within 6 months sony will come out with an even better sensor than the rx1. All the Sony roadmaps show a fullframe mirrorless NEX system camera coming out at the beginning of 2014. It will be able to easily adapt all these m-mount lenses, but more importantly yield even better final image output than the leica camera itself.

    • Yes, it’s a bit disappointing. But perhaps not altogether surprising. DxOMark made a point of stating that the results fall behind full-frame sensors from Nikon and Sony…

      “…a big step in the right direction although the new sensor doesn’t quite match the heights of the best sensors DxOMark have tested or those of flagship DSLRs. Compared to the best sensors the Leica M is a little off the pace with the Sony RX1 and Nikon D800 boasting around +1 Stop better image quality overall.”

  5. I have never heard do much anal hogwash in my life, who cares about all this sensor stats rubbish. If you like the way a camera performs- great , end of story. If you are a fan of the M8 or M9 no one will change your mind that your camera of choice is an overpriced sub-standard piece of kit so dont worry about these tests and reports! A £1k Sigma DP Merrill kills the M9 in terms of IQ but there is more to it than that or Leica would never sell another camera. Choice its a great thing 🙂

  6. I really don’t know why anyone in his right mind would want to see the M240 results. As has been so eloquently pointed out by many, ad nauseam, on the other post, DXO’s test results are totally useless and irrelevant to the real photographer.

    Move on, nothing to see here.

    • As has been so eloquently pointed out by many, ad nauseam, there can be a significant image quality difference between the pictures obtained using a fingernail-sized sensor, as used e.g. in phonecams and point and shoots, and the larger sensors used in “real” cameras.

      This, however, has nothing to do with the artistic quality of the pictures themselves. A competent photographer can take much more compelling and beautiful pictures with, say, an iPhone than an incompetent camera fondler toying with a full-frame DSLR or a Leica, for example.

      The problem with DxO’s measurements is that a lot of people are mentally confused about the difference between the objective, technical qualities of a sensor measured by DxO and the artistic quality of a picture, which is independent of the sensor.

      Such people’s fuzzy reasoning is that “since I’ve seen beautiful pictures taken with camera XYZ, the fact that DxO ranks that camera’s sensor measurements below those, say, of a less expensive camera must mean that DxO are incompetent or irrelevant.”

      Such people don’t understand that there exist objective metrics that can quantify the technical image quality difference between a fingernail-sized sensor as used on a cameraphone, and the larger sensors used in “proper” cameras

      Such people don’t understand that the same metrics can also show the technical image quality difference that can exist between similarly-sized sensors, e.g. that not all full-frame sensors are created equal.

      For such people, there are no fundamental differences between a cameraphone and a proper camera, and one thus can’t help but be amused when they then try to justify their camera choices by seguing into aspects like “tonal range” or “lens quality” that contradict their basic premise that sensor or image quality as measured by DxO are irrelevant.

  7. So again, just to clarify – Leica M9, Leica M9-P and Leica ME, share the same sensor, Kodak (KAF-18500).

    How those test freaks came up with different results, idk

  8. OK LETS ADMIT THAT: DxO are a bunch of incompetent boneheads who are DO NOT KNOW what they are doing. Please Steve could you expose their lies and get to the bottom of it:

    How come exactly the same sensor and ALL camera internals on M9-P give dynamic range of 11.6 versus 11.7 on M-E and M9, I repeat to mine and everybody’s knowledge those camera do not differ because the can’t differ.

    Also Low Light ISO has different value on all three cameras: 787, 854, 884, so you tell me that 3 year old M9 is roughly almost 1 stop better in low light the the M-E??? They are exactly the same cameras.

    Hey , DxO guys, please stop doing a disservice to a community.

  9. Dont ME M9 M9P have the same exact sensors? And yet they all have different scores, unless the test were in uncontrolled environs.

    Maybe, just maybe, the M240 will score almost as good as the much cheaper Nikon D800?

    • I assume we can attribute the fairly marginal differences to either mannufacturing tolerances on Leica side or test tolerances on DXO side or most likely both.

      Indeed we can expect the M240 to perform somewhat worse than the latest excellent Sony sensors. As usual the Leica haters will continue their beloved Leica bashing while the Leica lovers will appreciate the improvements over the M9

    • Jon,

      Oh John that happens all the time…..sensors and camera’s are made (tuned) by people and production processes have tollerances…..check the OM-D, GH3, PL-5 tests….also the same sensor but marginally different results.

      Other example Lens Rentals test lenses and find a spread there as well……that is why my marvelous Panasonic 45-200 can be your turd….


      Also some interesting remarks about the M9 sensor and Leica glass…..there is more to sensor design then Mpixels alone.

      Greets, Ed.

  10. We are still chasing that magical 23 EVs like some holy grail. What would Ansel Adams’ legacy be if he wasn’t constrained by technology? Almost certainly he wouldn’t have created the Zone system that we all take for granted every time we use our light meters!

    • Easily can achieve that DR. Just control the photo cells in evenly distribution groups. Half the groups in the upper DR, other half of the groups in the lower DR. In a squared array, 2 squars one group, 2 squares another group. Sure you would lose resolution, but with ultrahigh Megapixel sensors, you can afford to. You wont even notice those lost pixels when you downsample for web. By grouping the photocells into seperate Dynanmic Ranges, you can eliminate multiple shots bracketing.

  11. I’m certain of the dynamic range score, the rest is an educated guess:

    12.4 Evs for Landscape (Dynamic Range), Portrait (Color Depth) slightly better than 5D Mark II, Sports (Low-Light) performance slightly less than 5D Mark II. Overall Score 76 or 77

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